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Books

Jun 2, 2017

What to read this weekend: recommendations from the bunker

How to sleep, the man who organises the personal and political correspondence of Hillary Clinton, the Mexican towns that supply America's heroin, the family of Mark Haines search for the truth, the papers have always been after the ABC and the enduring mystery of Jacob Wetterling abduction.

Crikey long reads

Josh Taylor, journalist

29 Years After Teenager Mark Haines Died, His Family Will Not Go Quietly As It Searches For The Truth” by Allan Clarke in Buzzfeed

“NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, who has fought on behalf of the Haines family to have the case re-examined, offers a blunt assessment of the NSW police’s performance in 1988. ‘Could you imagine the uproar, if a young, effervescent, sporty, engaged white kid, same age as Haines, had been found dead on railway tracks in the circumstances that Haines was? The media wouldn’t accept it.’

And yet this is precisely what occurred.”

Cass Knowlton, editor

In the Dark” [podcast] on American Public Media Reports

“For 27 years, the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota yielded no answers. Reporter Madeleine Baran reveals how law enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the country and how those failures fueled national anxiety about stranger danger, led to the nation’s sex-offender registries and raise questions about crime-solving effectiveness and accountability.”

Sally Whyte, deputy editor

How the newspapers tried to kill ABC news before it even began” by Stan Correy on the ABC

“Back in the 1930s, Sir Keith Murdoch, whose son Rupert went on to found News Corp, was the most powerful media baron in Australia, running newspapers and radio stations. Even before the ABC made its first broadcast in May 1932, Sir Keith was pressuring the Federal Government to change the legislation that created the ABC — in effect, restricting the public broadcaster from collecting its own news.

At that time, there was no radio news on ABC stations in the morning until the announcers had read the newspapers, and in the evening the announcers had to repeat the morning news bulletins — as the newspapers refused to have their evening papers scooped by ABC news broadcasts.” 

Emily Watkins, media reporter

The Place Where Letters To Hillary Clinton Go” by Ruby Cramer in Buzzfeed

“Russo has spent more than a decade managing Clinton’s “paper process,” a job he approaches with extreme diligence and care and order. He compiles her briefing books, handles her mail, and drafts letters to every corner of the vast and layered network known as Clintonworld: thank yous, condolences, graduations and weddings. Maybe you’ve seen some of the them, the letters from Clinton that pop up on staffers’ Instagram feeds or in news stories about the friends and voters who have received them. Clinton is the sender, but each note is also the product of a long-worked-out system that this aide steers.”

Charlie Lewis, journalist

Violence is soaring in the Mexican towns that feed America’s heroin habit” by Joshua Partlow in The Washington Post

“But it’s when Highway 51 drops down from the rolling hills, and runs west in two lonely lanes across the scorched valley floor, that danger really starts to poison people’s lives. Drug bosses known as “the Tequila Man”and “the Fish” rule like feudal lords, at war with each other and the vigilante groups that have risen against them. Residents get kidnapped in groups. Tortured corpses are discarded in the valley, left to sear on hot pavement.”

Bernard Keane, politics editor

How to Sleep”  by James Hamblin in The Atlantic

“No matter what happened to my body, I never felt like it was dangerous for me to keep working. I knew I was irritable and sometimes terse, and I didn’t smell the best, but I didn’t think anything I did was unsafe. Sleep experts often liken sleep-deprived people to drunk drivers: They don’t get behind the wheel thinking they’re probably going to kill someone. But as with drunkenness, one of the first things we lose in sleep deprivation is self-awareness.”

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